How Can You Benefit From Conflict?

How can conflict positively impact your team?

Tommy, Spaulding, founder and president of Spaulding Companies—a leadership development, speaking, training, and executive coaching firm—talks about how conflict can benefit you and your team. Every organization deals with conflict, but Tommy reveals that conflict doesn’t always have to be negative. Conflict that challenges teams to grow, develop, innovate, and build trust helps the team reach a higher level of growth and performance. These high-performing teams don’t just happen without effort; they are forged through conflict, collaboration and communication. Can you see the good side of conflict? Learn how it can be beneficial to your team. Watch this and other videos on working through conflict today on Leadercast Now!
Conflict is a part of culture. I mean, it is impossible to run an organization, whether it's 1 person or 100,000 people, without conflict. But conflict is not always bad. Sometimes conflict is good. Like, when you have a team of people with deep trust, as Pat Lencioni talks about in his book, The Five Dysfunctions of a Team, if you have great trust, conflict is healthy because conflict, it brings you to the next level. But if you have negative conflict in a culture, heart-led leaders can handle that well because they're transparent and they're real. And so they address conflict head on, and they just speak the truth.

And when you just have a set of values that, "I'm going to speak truth, no matter what the consequences, even during tough times of conflict, I think my people are going to see me to the other side when they know I have the best interests of all and not the best interests of myself." And conflict sometimes brings that out and kind of shows, "Okay, is my leader a servant leader or a self-serving leader?" Sometimes, conflict kind of shows that, the best and good in people.

If you're a heart-led leader and you have conflict in your organization, I think the most important thing is to be transparent, to be truthful, to be mindful, to follow up, to be discerning, and to be confident through that. And if you sense that you're losing some trust in some of the people because they're not following you through that conflict, then set one-on-ones with people and listen to them and say, "I'm getting a sense that you're not fully on board," and listen.

I think listening is a lost art. I think a lot of leaders tell, they yap, and the great leaders that I know, they say, "Listen, I really value your opinion. What's going on in your mind? What's going on in your heart?" How many leaders ask their employees, "What's going on in your heart? What's preventing you from giving your best at work today? Is it something personal going on? Is it something you're not jiving with in the company? Is there some conflict going on? Let's work through that because I want the best from you." Who's not going to respond to that?

Tommy Spaulding

Tommy Spaulding is the founder and president of Spaulding Companies, a leadership development, speaking, training, and executive coaching firm based in Denver, Colorado. A renowned speaker on leadership, Tommy has spoken to hundreds o...

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